Saturday, November 21, 2009


In case you didn't get quite enough Opera Metal back here, let's check out a couple more opera/classical/symphonic-themed European metal bands, shall we?

First off we have Haggard, from Bavaria, Germany. Haggard plays a very interesting version of chamber music-meets-death metal, and at last count had at least 19 members. Led by guitarist/vocalist Asis Nasseri, their complex and oddly medieval compositions alternate back and forth between crushing brutality and ethereal fantasy, and incorporate such instruments as oboe, French horn, bassoon, kettledrums, harpsichord, and crumhorn. Awaking The Centuries is their second of four full-length releases, and showcases their ability to shred from the orchestra pit to the mosh pit.

Haggard on Myspace


Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Okay, okay... Nevermind the horrible band photo up there. Sweden's Therion has gone through a multitude of changes since their formation in 1987 -- for better or for worse. They started out playing thrash metal, later moved on to death metal, and afterwards proceeded to a more symphonic sound (which is what we're here to talk about today). 22 years and at least 34 band members later, Therion has evolved into the latex-and eyeliner-clad beast seen above, but in 2001 they were doing some pretty killer shit, as evidenced by the semi-concept album Secret of the Runes. Basically a mid-tempo death band fronted by a eight part, male/female, alto/soprano/tenor/baritone vocal ensemble, Therion's sound on this album is singular and enchanting, and the whole idea behind it is pretty sweet, too. 
Ever heard of Uthark Theory? You know, the idea that ancient runes hold a deeper, hidden meaning, which can only be deciphered through esoteric studies and mysticism? It was pioneered, of course, by Swedish professor Sigurd Agrell in the 1930's, and Secret of the Runes is Therion's own personal contribution to the study. Want to learn more? Go ahead.

Therion on Myspace


Download HERE
Purchase HERE


stargraves said...

aw man - you musta been joking - I listened to these on my way to work - therions was just sad cos they couldn't afford a rea drummer - but haggard are fucken awful - the stupidest,least self-aware band I've come across since ANY rap act thought they weren't shit.

truly crineworthy - every second of it!

stargraves said...

for rea = real

crine = cringe

I hate it when flippancy becomes flippanct.

If only I read what I wrote - I'd have more books published.

Shelby Cobras said...

If self-awareness was all it took for a band to be good, the world would be clogged with way more Death Cab For Cuties and way less Wesley Willises. I think that's part of the charm of this kind of band. Unabashed nerdiness, and plenty of it. These guys aren't in it for the chicks, man. I can get behind that.

Hell, what do you want for nothing?